Today’s being celebrated by college football fans all across the country as the best Tuesday of the year. College football’s version of “Christmas Eve” is right now, when people everywhere will anticipate and speculate for the next 24-36 hours or so, why their team should receive one or two last minute gifts, the next great thing to don a jersey in their alma mater’s colors.
Recruiting has become as celebrated, if not more so, than the game itself. A National pastime of Desmond Howard’s and Barry Sanders’ and Doug Flutie’s, has become a national holiday, even if people don’t get this Tuesday day off. Filling a need isn’t as important as hearing that tomorrow’s Heisman hopeful is headed to your school of choice. While players pick the right (or wrong) college to make their athletic and educational hub for the next four to five seasons, the fans pick up their phone every 5 minutes to check every school site for the last morsel of news.
Make no mistake, college football recruiting has become so important that a kid’s educational needs have been pushed aside for the spotlight of media attention, especially by the Fan. People get inexplicably angry when a kid decides to flip allegiances, even after careful consideration for their life choice. Yes, some athletes still choose based on a good decision for them in the classroom and on the field of life above all athletic considerations, including signing with a coach that makes them the most comfortable to build a relationship with.
But mostly, the term “student-athlete” has become a thing of the past with today’s media. The pressure to pick based on academics has become a ruse, next to the pressure of picking the school that will put you in the best position to be seen on the national stage for the most amount of time. A lot of kids get started early, posing for a school and then recanting just to get more twitter follows and Hudl views, not to mention a rise in coach-interest.
When one prep athlete talks about the “dirty side of recruiting” in reference to a school or coach, they must understand that it goes both ways. It’s to the point now where some prospects will tattoo themselves with a school’s logo and then at the last second flip to their bitter rival. One can hope it isn’t all for the cameras, but truthfully and unfortunately, that’s what the end result is.
ESPN and all other national media outlets cover these kids like Playboy covers it’s girls, access granted. If you don’t know what color underwear these kids are wearing, you’re behind the curve. It’s exhausting but the money is too good to pass up for both parties (yes these recruits are in it for the money at that seven round bonanza when all is said and done) and every fan wants to read the “story” that’s printed on the athlete’s centerfold page.
It’s important to be really good, but it’s even more important that everybody knows who you are, and early. Tomorrow’s the perfect opportunity for many athletes to jump start that process, if they haven’t already. In the end, National Signing Day has become our newest Bunny Magazine.
Since it’s actually NOT a national holiday and you’re probably at work, here are 5 college cheerleaders that could be Playboy models to keep you motivated as you wait anxiously for National Signing Day: